As we approach the end of 2012 we can look back on what has been a bit of a roller coaster of a year, January and February saw our busiest period for some time and this carried on until the early summer when business seemed to tail off slightly. On refelection we can probably put the slow summer down to the Olympics, which for all their success it would appear now that many businesses and individuals almost put life on hold to watch our amazing Team GB revel in glory. Now that the Olympics are a distant memory business seems to be picking up again and things are getting back to normal, in fact we are experiencing our best month for orders in over 4 years. Long may it last.
Those who are trying to clamber onto the property ladder in the UK are among those who are set to feel the effects of the new regulations most strongly. The Financial Services Authority are targeting a decrease in the amount of interest-only mortgages which have led to so many making it onto the property ladder previously because of the manageable monthly payments they make possible. This is evidenced by the FSA’s statistics that have shown that 43 per cent of loans on 11.2 million properties are interest-free mortgages.
Amongst the details of the changes is expected to be an insistence that borrowers prove they will be able to repay any such mortgage before they reach 70 or 75 years old. This will naturally present a significant obstacle for potential mortgage borrowers in their 50s. It has also been suggested that those who are in self-employment will encounter further problems as they will be required to make proof of their income by way of audited accounts. The past five years have seen a particularly steep drop in the amount of mortgage loans given out – from 103,000 in August 2007 to just 55,300 in August 2012.
The mortgage industry in the UK went through something of a slow period during September according to the Council of Mortgage Lenders. Two of the primary reasons for the lack of activity were said to be a faltering level of re-mortgaging and a lack of demand for buying homes. Additionally, there was a decrease of 10 per cent on gross mortgage lending in comparison to August this year and a 15 per cent drop when compared to the corresponding period for last year. This value was £11.6 billion and came despite the increased amount of accessibility for prospective mortgage borrowers.
It was also suggested in a survey carried out by the Bank of England that although the government’s Funding for Lending scheme is intended to lead to a greater degree of availability for those looking to borrow there could still be a similarly slow period for the market reported for October. It has been stated that the prominent mortgage lenders in the UK have been expecting some fall in the house prices for this period amid a continuation of the uncertainty with regard to the country’s economic situation. The current state of the mortgage market is in contrast to last year when a higher amount of homeowners chose to re-mortgage.
The amount of people who are put off by the level of service they encounter while attempting to use websites for their mortgage is in the thousands according to a new report. Global Reviews examined the success of the services provided by online mortgage providers in the UK in their report and the findings represented a need for a vast improvement.
It was found that customers generally left a damning assessment of the service they used with the majority claiming that they would not recommend the site of the mortgage provider to others. The study looked at seven different parts of the online process the customers go through and the amount of people to reach and complete the application form included in the service had an average of only 49 per cent. In terms of the best customer service given online it was suggested that Nationwide provided this with 56 per cent.
Global Reviews determined that customers need a greater degree of clarity while using online mortgaging and in a wider sense it was also suggested that deterring customers in this way could be having a detrimental impact upon the property market in the UK.
Since the government brought in the Funding for Lending scheme to help first-time buyers in moving onto the property ladder the average rate of mortgages in the UK has dropped by over a half. The initiative was introduced at the start of August and in that time there has been a fall of 0.56 per cent.
The Funding for Lending scheme is in place for the purpose of providing the possibility for building societies and banks to swap loans for the option of treasury bills. With these bills, a 0.25 per cent interest rate will be charged over a period of 18 months. There have been a number of well-known banks that have taken the chance to participate in the initiative, including Barclays and Virgin Money to name but two.
The figures come courtesy of Moneyfacts.co.uk and according to these statistics fixed mortgages over a five-year period have experienced the biggest decrease. It was found that the rate of these mortgages with 60 per cent loan to value has fallen to 3.79 per cent from the 4.35 experienced back in June. It is hoped that new participants to the scheme will help to compensate for the areas in which the more established banks are unable to.
Many people who take out a mortgage on their home look to specifically decrease the amount they are required to pay back each month by choosing one that lasts for 30 years as opposed to a 25-year one. According to new figures from The Office for National Statistics the amount of people who are deciding to stagger their payments over a course of three decades now takes up just shy of a quarter of new mortgages in total, at 23.3 per cent.
This upward trend in the number of home owners who take the 30-year option represents a further decline in the number who take out a 25-year mortgage. The figures for the latter option have been on the wane since the beginning of the 1990s when 70 per cent of mortgages were for 25 years, whereas it is now stated that the statistic stands at just 30 per cent.
While the amount now increasing the duration of their mortgage repayments has been rising there are other factors to be taken into consideration. These include the rise in popularity of interest-only loans in the period leading up to 2007 when the issue of whether it was a 25 or 30-year mortgage was not quite as relevant.
With the double-dip recession in the UK having a number of knock-on effects for the economy, one of the areas to experience an adverse impact is the mortgage market. It was found that the drop in the market is the worst in over two years as loans for house purchases went down to 48,913 for August, representing the third worst decrease for the month in almost two decades.
The state of the mortgage market is understandably bad news for first-time buyers as they look to clamber onto the property ladder. The research also stated that only one out of every ten mortgages given was to someone who had a low deposit. There was a certain amount of progression made from the summer months of 2011 onwards but the double-dip recession has effectively cancelled that out.
Among the factors cited as key reasons behind the decline was the drop in the amount of mortgages with a high loan-to-value that banks give their approval to. In light of all the problems it has been noted that banks have implemented more stringent credit conditions and made it more difficult for those with small deposits who are looking to borrow.
It has been suggested that university graduates will encounter a greater level of difficulty when it comes to successfully taking out a mortgage on their home. The research that states this was recently carried out by the Royal Bank of Scotland and in their findings they discovered that the key reason for the supposed problems graduates will face is down to the necessary repayment of their student debt.
It is of course relative to how much the graduate in question earns with regard to how large their debt repayments are but when a mortgage is factored into the equation the living costs are compromised further. The academic year of 2012/13 will see the cost of university tuition rocket from a maximum of £3,375 to £9,000 for each year but it should also be noted that there is now more leeway with the graduate repayments. The previous rules stipulated that paying back the student loan debt began once the graduate was earning £15,795 but with the rise of tuition fees this has been adjusted to £21,000.
Approximately 7 per cent of the money a first-time property buyer has available for a mortgage deposit will be taken up by their loan repayment at the age of 26 it was found.
Making the decision to take out a mortgage on your home is undoubtedly a hugely significant one that will impact upon your life in a number of different ways. Among the principle factors that will come into play are the interest rate and the period of repayment but it is becoming more frequent to hear an offer of taking a break from your payment at some point.
The mention of a mortgage payment holiday, as it is known, will trigger the attention of a lot of people but it represents hidden pitfalls that those concerned should be made aware of. It comes down to the old adage of something that seems too good to be true being exactly that.
The temptation is to fall into the way of thinking that you have a break from your payment but what it actually means is that the interest from the supposed payment holiday is added to your overall payment cost on the mortgage. It has been suggested that in the grand scheme of things a mortgage payment holiday will not do a huge amount of damage but using them on a frequent basis certainly will.
Although the mortgage lending market is in a state of uncertainty at the moment, a lot of first time buyers do still report good news after speaking to banks and building societies when they are thinking of getting a house. Getting onto the property market is tough in tough financial times, but it is nevertheless possible as long as the right structure is in place for first time buyers on the mortgage market.
The stamp duty holiday has caused some first time buyers to re-think and put off their plans, either in the hope of another stamp duty holiday or in order to save up more capital to deal with the initial outlay when it comes to buying a house. However, in spite of the gloomy forecasts predicted by many industry insiders, a lot of first time buyers are seeing positive things when they go scouting for a mortgage.
If you are a first time buyer then you must get first hand evidence of what the mortgage market is like instead of simply reading about it. You may be pleasantly surprised by the deals on offer so arrange to see an assortment of lenders.